Translated by Andrea Reece
HIS FATHER STILL warm in the grave, Bartholomé de Ménibus leaves his traditional farming village in a bucolic valley and sets out to discover what lies behind the only mountain he has ever known: endless other mountains. Behind each, fantastical Swiftian worlds inhabited by Quixotic characters all convinced that their lifestyle is the only way to face the future. Dairy cows with portholes sewn into their rumps offer consumers 'a window on the product'; elderly folk are abandoned by the roadside as their families drive on through traffic jams to holiday destinations; pigs are farmed in 125-storey skyscrapers. In this quirky, satirical novel, sparkling with surreal humour and inventiveness, Marie-Jeanne Urech adopts the codes of epic medieval quests and epistolary tales of the past as she skips lightly but purposefully towards the essential question: What kind of Earth are we leaving for future generations?
Marie-Jeanne Urech is a poet, author and film-maker who was born and lives in Lausanne, Switzerland. She studied Social Sciences at the University of Lausanne and holds a diploma from the London Film School. She published her first collection of short stories in 2003, going on to publish a number of other collections and novels. She was awarded the prestigious Prix Eugène Rambert in 2013 for her novel Les Valets de Nuit. Some of her works have been translated into Italian, Romanian and German but these are her first into English. Her films include feature-length documentaries (in English and French) on social issues as well as shorter fictional pieces.
Andrea Reece translates from French and Spanish and holds an MA in Translation from the University of Exeter. Her translations of short stories and novel extracts have appeared in Asymptote and the Institut Français Culturethèque blog. She was commended for her translation of a French piece of flash fiction at the EUNIC European Literature Night translation pitch in 2015. In 2019 she won a PEN Translates award for the translated memoir First, They Erased Our Name. A Rohingya Speaks by Habiburahman and Sophie Ansel. Her past lives spent in a Swiss mountain village in the canton of Valais and a Pyrenean pastoral village are among the many reasons she was attracted to La Terre Tremblante.